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Knock-off but not counterfeit jewelry, legal?

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  • Knock-off but not counterfeit jewelry, legal?

    Hi -

    I run a forum and wanted to offer bracelets for my members either for free or for low cost. I googled around and finally found a bracelet I like from a Chinese manufacturer.

    I ordered the sample and really like it. It has NO logo on it.

    However, I since came to find out that it is a clone of a jewelry companies design. Although they did not copy the logo, the bracelet is no doubt a clone....a very good one, I might add.

    Now, I'm in a it legal to import and sell or give away this bracelet? I offer the following potentially mitigating information:

    1. There is no trademark violation since there is no logo on the item and I am not trying to pass it off as the genuine article. In fact, I would specifically point out that this bracelet should not be confused with the bracelet from the manufacturer.

    2. I could not find anything when searching for copyrights...I tried entering the company name in the copyright search and nothing came up. Thus, to the best of my knowledge, this is not copyrighted.

    3. I'm not intending to sell this to the "public at large"...its specifically geared towards a particular club/forum/group of people and not trying to claim that its the real thing.

    What are the thoughts around this? Legal to sell or not?

    Appreciate any insight anyone can give,

    EDIT: I live in the USA so whichever legalities apply here.

  • #2
    Re: Knock-off but not counterfeit jewelry, legal?

    I wish to inform you that it will have to be seen that whether design of such bracelet has been under copyright or not. If design has been copyright in USA then you can be held liable while selling because then you are selling copyright product of some other company. If there is no copyright then you can sell because then there is no restriction on selling. You can check copyright from the name of company from US Copyright search. website and can know whether design has been under copyright or not.



    • #3
      Re: Knock-off but not counterfeit jewelry, legal?

      This happened to me too, I have a thriving business for more than 40 yrs, recently I saw my jewelry in a color catalog and I am really mad, they told me that they have more money than god does so suck it up. I got an attorney and sued the panties out of them... and I am waiting to hear from them now... its a well known company and I am a small company with 1 employee and its family. So I feel that if you SELL A PRODUCT JUST DO NOT SAY ITS YOUR DESIGNS... you can sell anything but as LONG YOU DO NOT SAY ITS YOUR DESIGNS YOU ARE OK TO USE IT.

      Copyrights and Trademarks are to protect others from taking your Designs and saying its theirs... I made up a recent bracelet and now this person says its theirs... I am a my wits end... I can not keep on sueing everyone, but they do take products from other countries remake them cheap and say its theirs if they are in china etc...


      • #4
        Re: Knock-off but not counterfeit jewelry, legal?

        In some cases, US courts will permit copying, even without conducting a fair use defense analysis, if the amount copied is extremely small. The theory is that this type of copying does not rise to the level to constitute infringement. A court may examine whether an average audience would recognize an appropriation as a qualitatively and quantitatively significant portion of the copyright holder’s work as a whole. Speak with an expert lawyer.


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